Can Google out-cool Apple?

Can Google out-cool Apple? No, but the Mountain View search giant might be able to out-geek the Cupertino center of cool.

Can Google out-cool Apple? No, but the Mountain View search giant might be able to out-geek the Cupertino center of cool.

Google Android - G1
Today T-Mobile announced the first cellphone that will run Google's Android OS. Android-based cellphones are considered by many to be the first real competitor to Apple's iPhone. The T-Mobile G1, which is in fact a rebadged HTC Dream, will hit the stores on 22 Oct.

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Here's the spec of the G1:

  • 528MHz Qualcomm 7201 CPU
  • 3G
  • 480×320 screen
  • 64MB Internal RAM
  • 128MB Internal ROM
  • WiFi (802.11b/g)
  • GPS
  • 1GB MicroSD card
  • Bluetooth
  • Accelerometer
  • 5-row QWERTY keypad
  • Trackball
  • 3.1MP camera (no built-in flash)
  • SMS and MMS support
  • 1150 mAh battery
  • 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Talk time: 5 hrs

Now, the real question is whether the G1 can compete with the iPhone. In terms of cool, I think that the iPhone is still the outright winner, after all, put the G1 and the iPhone side-by-side and the iPhone wins hands down when it comes to stylishness. While the iPhone is sleek and unencumbered by unnecessary buttons, markings and other cellphone norms such as battery compartments, the G1 seems cluttered and rough.

Forget the idea that the G1 is an iPhone killer. This is just nonsense because the two devices are appealing to markets. The iPhone is a symbol of cool, while the G1 will appeal to geeks. While iPhone users are flocking to Apple's App Store to buy apps, Android will be backed up by an open source community. This easy availability of apps (I'm guaranteed that there will be huge developer interest in Android) will make the platform appealing to the geek end of the spectrum. The Google vs. Apple (or G1 vs. iPhone) won't be fought based on which device is coolest, it'll be based on which is geekiest. When it comes to geek, the G1 has that in spades.

The only drawback to the G1 ... the 2-year leash to T-Mobile. Not very open source that ...

Thoughts?

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